The Honor View 20 is a smartphone that stands out in several sections. On the one hand, it is one of the first smartphones with a full-screen design without notch (but with a hole in the screen for the front camera) and, on the other hand, it is the first to have a rear camera with the new Sony IMX586 sensor 48MP, which is accompanied by a 3D ToF sensor.
The Honor View 20 aspect also attracts attention as the back cover uses nanolithography technology that reflects the light forming a striking “V” pattern that we had not seen before.
The rest of its technical specifications do not disappoint at all since it has a 6.4 ”LCD screen with Full HD + resolution, Kirin 980 processor, 6/8 GB of RAM, 128/256 GB of storage (not expandable), rear camera 48MP + ToF, 25MP front camera and 4,000 mAh battery.
Out of Honor, I had the opportunity to attend the presentation of the smartphone in Paris and I have been able to try the Honor View 20 for several weeks, so, then I bring you my in-depth analysis.
1. Design and Construction
After a year dominated by smartphones with a more or less large notch in the center of the screen, the (almost) all-screen design of the Honor View 20 is a breath of fresh air.
Honor has dispensed with the traditional notch in favor of a hole in the upper left corner of the screen that houses the front camera.
This hole has a diameter of 4.5 mm. and it has been created through a complex process of lithography on screen.
Although the Honor View 20 is not the first smartphone we see with a perforated screen – the Samsung Galaxy A8s and the Huawei Nova 4 were announced with similar screens.
In addition, the front camera of the Honor View 20 is considerably smaller than that of the Galaxy A8s.
The location chosen for the front camera hole is not accidental since, when holding the smartphone horizontally, the hole will be relegated to the lower-left corner and, therefore, will not interfere with the top bar of the games.
This does not mean that in some games we cannot find controls or other elements placed in the place occupied by the camera but, in general, it is usually a space that is free.
In addition to having removed the notch, Honor has made the frames around the screen very narrow, with the bottom frame being somewhat thicker than the other three.
As a result, we are facing a smartphone with a great advantage of the front since it reaches a screen-to-body ratio of, according to Honor, almost 92%. In comparison, the Honor Play remained at a ratio of 83%, so the improvement is great.
The use of an elongated screen ratio, 19.5: 9, makes the Honor View 20 not too wide and therefore quite manageable in the hand. However, as with all phones of a similar size, it is not easy to reach all areas of the screen with the thumb when holding the phone with one hand. Luckily, Honor has incorporated one-hand operation functionality.
If you look at the back, we find a striking back cover that, in the company’s words, uses “advanced nanolithography technology to create an invisible nanotexture.”
Explained with simpler words, it is a glass finish with multiple layers below that reflect the light forming “V” patterns. Although we might think that the “V” refers to “View20”, Honor has explained that he has been inspired by the famous statue of the Victory of Samothrace when designing this pattern.
It is not easy to capture with a camera the effect that the light produces when it hits the rear surface of the Honor View 20 but it is enough to say that it attracts a lot of attention since a bright “V” seems to move around the back when the phone is turned. At a time when the designs of smartphones are becoming more similar, it is appreciated to see a touch of originality.
The sides of the back are curved to the sides, which gives it a touch of elegance, and they are also dyed a darker color than the rest of the phone.
The Honor View 20 is available in four colors: Midnight Black, Sapphire Blue, Phantom Red and Phantom Blue (this is what we have tried). The last two color variants are the result of a collaboration between Honor and the luxury brand MOSCHINO.
Given the narrowness of the lower frame of the screen, Honor has placed the fingerprint reader in the back, at a fairly comfortable height that makes the gesture of placing the finger on it natural.
I would have liked more to see a fingerprint reader under the screen but this would have forced Honor to use an OLED panel, which would have made the phone more expensive.
The rear camera is divided into two modules that are located in the upper left area.
The first of the modules protrude slightly, so the phone dances when you press on the upper left area of the screen while resting on a horizontal surface. It is not serious but it can be annoying if you use the phone on a table.
The back is completely flat, so it does not adapt as well to the hand as other terminals with a more curved shape. With 8.1 mm thickness and 180 grams in weight, the Honor View 20 is somewhat thicker and heavier than other smartphones.
Next, we will check the sides of the phone to see what buttons and connectors we found.
On the right side, we find the power button and, above, the volume button, one-piece and elongated. Both buttons have a good touch feeling and sufficient travel.
On the left side, we only find the slot to house two nano-SIM cards. Unfortunately, we cannot use a micro-SD card (nor one of the new NM Cards announced by Huawei)
The top of the phone only has a microphone and what appears to be an infrared transmitter (although we have not found any remote control app).
The bottom of the phone has a USB-C connector in the center and, on one side, the headphone jack.
The phone grip is comfortable since the side edges of the phone do not stick in the hand when held tightly.
Finally, Honor View 20 is not waterproof, so we must be careful not to get wet. I would have liked to see this protection on the phone since it is something that more and more high-end smartphones incorporate but, again, it is understandable that Honor has dispensed with this feature to maintain a more restrained price.